Minor cosmetic surgeries way safer than previously believed

Scientists have analyzed and claimed that minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, which includes fillers, neurotoxins and laser and energy device procedures, are exceptionally safe with almost zero risk of serious adverse events.

ANI| Last Updated: Nov 06, 2014, 10:37 AM IST

Washington: Scientists have analyzed and claimed that minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, which includes fillers, neurotoxins and laser and energy device procedures, are exceptionally safe with almost zero risk of serious adverse events.

The study by the researchers from Northwestern Medicine, who tested more than 20,000 procedures around the US, is believed to be the first large, multi-center study that prospectively analyzed the rate of adverse events by experienced dermatologists. These procedures have been used to decrease the visible facial signs of aging.

When side effects-such as bruising, redness, swelling, bumpiness or skin darkening - occur, they are usually minor and go away on their own, the authors report. Such minor adverse events occurred in less than 1 percent of patients.

For many years, there was a perception that minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were safer than larger, more invasive cosmetic procedures. However, there was little evidence to back up this belief.

Murad Alam, M.D, wh oled the study said that if a patient was thinking of getting one of these procedures, they were not indulging in something drastic or high risk. These procedures were very safe and could be mixed and matched to give the individual a significant cosmetic benefit, rather than getting one big cosmetic procedure that might be risky.

The Northwestern study looked at results of 20,399 procedures performed by 23 board-certified dermatologists at eight centers the country prospectively during a three-month period per center, staggered over nine months to adjust for seasonal variation.

Physicians were asked to enter information into a central computer database on a daily basis. They entered how many procedures they performed each day, the type of procedure, whether a procedure had any complications and the nature of those complications.

Then the authors divided up the data by type of procedure to get the separate complication rate for each type of filler, laser or energy device and neurotoxin.

While all the adverse rates were low, the rates for fillers, 0.52 percent, were slightly higher than those for energy devices and neurotoxins. However, this was expected, the authors said, because in the world of non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures, fillers are slightly more invasive than lasers and neurotoxins.

The study is published in JAMA Dermatology.